Dodson researches South Asian intellectual and cultural history, British imperial history, and postcolonial theory. He is a historian of British imperialism in South Asia, focusing particularly upon the intellectual and cultural history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first book “Orientalism, Empire, and National Culture: India 1770-1880” is a reinterpretation of Orientalism which conceptualizes colonial scholarly practices in northern India as highly localized, with links not only to the East India Company’s governing authority, but also to the social consolidation of scholarly ‘middle men’, the Sanskrit pandits. His second research monograph is a study of the aesthetics of smaller north Indian cities which examines colonial architectural conservation and urban planning practices, as well as local engagements with the urban landscape. He is editing a collection of nineteenth-century photographs and historical essays on the city of Varanasi, co-editing a book of essays on Asian modernity, and writing “A History of South Asia: Culture, Politics, Society, and Architecture 1000-2000” for Oxford University Press.